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What Would Federal 'Sequester' Budget Cuts Mean for Georgia?

Education, job-search assistance and child vaccinations are among areas in Georgia that would be affected, the White House says.

Just when you got over the "fiscal cliff" -- get ready for the "sequester."

According to USA TODAY, the White House began warnings about the sequestration -- automatic budget cuts -- by issuing reports Sunday (February 24) on how the coming $85 billion in reductions will affect each of the 50 states.

With the cuts set to begin Friday, President Obama is expected to cite the state reports as part of his effort to pressure congressional Republicans over the sequestration.

In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said "surely" Obama can find a way to cut 2 to 3 percent from a $3.5 trillion budget. "Rather than issuing last-minute press releases on cuts to first responders or troop training or airport security, he should propose smarter ways to cut Washington spending," McConnell said.

-- How do you feel about the impending federal budget cuts? What should the president and Congress do? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

On Sunday, the White House released a state-by-state breakdown of how the budget cuts could play out. Here are some ways they could affect Georgia:

  • Teachers and Schools: Georgia will lose approximately $28.6 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 390 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 54,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 80 fewer schools would receive funding. In addition, Georgia will lose approximately $17.5 million in funds for about 210 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
  • Job Search Assistance to Help those in Georgia find Employment and Training: Georgia will lose about $873,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 33,160 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
  • Vaccines for Children: In Georgia around 4,180 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $286,000.

The complete White House document on how sequestration cuts would affect Georgia is here.

Some other national effects could include:

  • Fingerprints and background checks: The FBI runs national data systems for fingerprint searches and background checks. The sequester ... could slow down investigations.
  • Meat and poultry inspections: The FDA warns that it might have to furlough meat and poultry inspections for up to 15 days. Meat plants would be unable to ship food if there were no inspectors.

A breakdown of how the cuts would affect all 50 states and the District of Columbia is here.

RL February 26, 2013 at 02:18 AM
Well, consider the source of the article's information. Of course, they are going to cry the sky is falling. Wish they would cut another 20%. Now we're talking some real money.
John Cook February 27, 2013 at 04:57 PM
This is the same sort of political blackmail that Charles Bannister did when he was County Commission Chairman. When the citizens said no to a tax increase in June, 2009, Bannister told reporters that the people would not like the results. And he made sure that the things he cut made the people hate each other. Divide and conquer. Bannister cut library hours, police and fire stations, and other services that would have the greatest impact. When he had another public hearing in December, he had people begging him to "tax us!" And he succeeded in getting citizens to hate the ones who opposed the tax increase. Now we have a replay on the Federal level. Conversely, our current commissioners have successfully balanced the budget each year without making the citizens hate one another.

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